IATA sees slower growth in air travel

The International Air Transport Association said on Thursday that there were clearer signs that this year's fast growth growth in international air travel was slowing.

IATA said in its monthly monitor of premium traffic that the number of business and first class passengers of international flights had grown by 9.1 percent in August compared to the same month last year, against to 13.8 percent for July.

A similar trend was detected in economy travel, with growth of 6.2 percent for August compared to 8.8 percent in July.

"There are clearer signs now that the post-recession rebound of international air travel is slowing," IATA said.

It was still unclear if the steadying of premium passenger travel was temporary.

IATA Director General Giovanni Bisignani had warned in July that the fast pace of growth in air travel this year was expected to slow in the coming months with the end of government stimulus packages.

Nonethless, the association last month tripled its forecast for airline profits to 8.9 billion dollars for 2010 because of the industry's strength so far this year.

IATA represents some 230 carriers that account for more than 90 percent of scheduled air traffic globally, but does not include many of the big budget airlines.

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